The Glenlivet 12 Years Old (1980s)
Glenlivet is the second highest selling Scotch single malt brand in the world, even topping the list a few years ago, only to quickly be overtaken by Glenfiddich again. Their whisky is generally fine for every occassion really, which is also kind of an issue. It doesn’t really stand out like some other, lesser known distilleries do. But that’s exactly the goal. Glenlivet is made for mass appeal, and the sales numbers don’t lie. It appeals to a lot of folk.
Let’s pivot to a review of a 12-year-old Glenlivet. However, this is not your average, run of the mill Glenlivet 12. Well, actually, at one point it was, but now it isn’t. That’s what time does. This is an older version, that used to be imported to Italy in the 1980s. Someone offered me a sample. I gladly accepted. And here we are.
The Glenlivet 12 Years Old (43%, OB, 1980s)
Nose: Slightly shy and not very expressive, this certainly won’t offend anyone. Pretty straightforward malt whisky, with hints of honey, vanilla and bitter oranges, accompanied by a thin floral veneer.
Taste: Creamy with soft notes of orchard fruits (quite tart actually), some crème brûlée and a handful of walnuts. Slightly thin and slightly metallic, with a hint of cappuccino.
Finish: Subtle spices. Short.
The palate offers more than the nose, which I find a bit dull. I really should’ve had a recent Glenlivet 12 on hand to compare this with.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.